Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal is among the best guitar players you might not be aware of. He’s had a steady gig as guitarist for Guns N’ Roses since 2006 along with an illustrious career as a solo artist.
In an interview posted by Rokbiz yesterday, Bumblefoot gives a bit of advice which you’ve likely heard many times over but should probably hear again:
“5% of your time will be playing. The other 95% will be stamping out fires and climbing muddy hills to make that 5% happen. Know how to navigate the 95%. Understand all the roles of the people you’d want on your team, do those tasks, get experience, make mistakes, learn, and get better. The world owes you NOTHING, you need to earn it – give everything you are and keep out-doing yourself. Be self-reliant, self-sufficient, your music is your child, do whatever it takes to take care of your child and provide a good life. And enjoy every f**king minute of it. If you don’t, know what you need to let go of to make this a life you love. That’s important, as all you have is your one life – so succeed with authenticity, as you figure out what that means to you.”
Coincidentally, this perspective pairs very well with this weeks’ episode of CAPE where Bobby Borg chatted with me about DIY marketing and business. While this quote and Bobby’s new book are both specific to music, their guidance can be applied to whatever it is you do, especially if you’re one of those creative types (like myself). As much as we all want to revel in the aforementioned 5%, we need to be self-sufficient with any endevor during its early stages. If we work at it, one day we may have a team of people to help mitigate the 95% to smooth out our climb. Until then, work hard and enjoy the process.
Do we really have any other choice?